Once awake, (either in the recovery room or the Same Day Surgery room), you can begin the pre-operative exercises in which you have been instructed. You can do no damage by moving your knee. Most important, you need to achieve full knee extension and flexion.
You will need to use your crutches for the next 6 weeks (as instructed in physical therapy.) You may place some weight (partial weight bearing) on your operative side. The ideal is to put enough weight on the side without experiencing pain. Remember! If you walk with a limp, then you need your crutches!
You may remove the ace-wrap the following day. This dressing and the cotton dressing beneath this may be bloody. After 24 hours you may split the cotton dressing behind your knee to allow more room and re-apply the ace wrap to secure it. After 36 hours, you may then remove the cotton dressing; if there is any bloody drainage then re-apply sterile gauze pads or cotton. Re-apply the ace-wrap to hold the dressing in place. You may not get the dressing wet.
Once the dressing is removed and the wounds are dry, without drainage, you may shower. As a precaution, you might want to place a plastic wrap (Saran Wrap) or covering over your knee.
Place over the white steri-strips or sutures on your incisions plain band-aids. Do not remove the steri-strips. If there is any fluid or blood still leaking out of the wounds, cover them with clean gauze.
You may place a large bag of ice or frozen vegetables (for example, peas) or Cryotherapy Unit to better conform to the knee. Keep this on for 20-30 minutes at a time each hour. You may use the ice as frequently as you wish and for as many days after your surgery as long as you have swelling and pain. In general, use at this frequency as long as it is effective.
When resting, try to keep your knee as straight as possible. Do not place pillows beneath your knee keeping it bent. A bent knee gets stiff and it becomes more difficult to move and straighten. If anything, keep a small towel beneath your heel to keep your knees straight when lying flat.
You will be given prescriptions for pain-relief medications. Use the medications as instructed since you may have some pain. If extreme pain persists or is not controlled by medication, call the office.
You may experience some nausea after your surgery, especially if you had general anesthesia. This is a normal response for some people following surgery. It usually subsides within 24 hours after surgery. Eating bland foods and sips of fluids often is helpful.
Call Dr. Longobardi’s office for a follow-up appointment as instructed (201) 343-1717.
Begin your post-operative physical therapy within three (3) days or five (5) days of surgery, as instructed. Begin home exercises as soon as possible.